Estate agents get two days to comply on sale price figures

Irish Times
Estate agents get two days to comply on sale price figures

THE NATIONAL Consumer Agency (NCA) has given estate agents just two days to provide it with undertakings that published price details of properties sold through private treaty or withdrawn from auction will be “absolutely accurate”. Conor Pope reports

At a meeting with the Irish Auctioneers and Valuers Institute (IAVI) and the Institute of Professional Auctioneers and Valuers (IPAV) yesterday, the consumer agency relayed its “very serious concerns” in relation to the accuracy of private treaty sale prices that are published in newspapers.

It pointed out that the provision of false information was illegal under the Consumer Protection Act 2007 and reminded both the IAVI and the IPAV that it had extensive powers under the Act, which it would not hesitate to use if necessary.

The National Consumer Agency sought the meeting after a letter was written by The Irish Times to estate agents about some exaggerated sales prices being submitted for publication in its property supplement.

While the rules of both bodies prohibit the issuing of false information, the consumer agency said it was common practice for estate agents to publish approximate, rather than specific, prices.

It has requested that, in future, rounding up prices or using phrases such as “in the region of” would not be used and that the price, if reported or otherwise divulged by an agent, would be the actual price paid for a property.

The consumer agency warned that in the absence of such an undertaking, it would use its powers under the Consumer Protection Act 2007 to investigate historic reporting practices by individual auctioneers and estate agents.

At the meeting it was agreed that both bodies would revert to the NCA by tomorrow afternoon.

Speaking to The Irish Times, NCA chief executive Ann Fitzgerald described the meeting as “genuinely very constructive” and expressed her optimism that the issue would be resolved before the end of the week.

“This is a serious issue on number of fronts and it needs to be resolved quickly,” she said, in order to remove uncertainty from the market.

IAVI chief executive Alan Cooke also described the meeting as “very constructive and productive” and said he was in the process of getting approval for the new undertakings from his organisation’s members.

He expressed confidence that he would be in a position to respond to the consumer agency ahead of the Thursday afternoon deadline.

Will the decision be out in time to mean that Thursday’s Irish Times Property Section will ACTUALLY have some truthful information on sales prices…

My guess is that the EAs will now choose not to disclose at all and just say that such and such a house was sold and not quote a figure?

Anyone else?

Everyone frantically covering their asses. It’s good to see the IT taking it seriously, but they could do the public a real service and let us know which agencies manipulate the market.

The NCA on the news this morning seem to be giving EA’s a free pass on past crimes. It’s a cop out!

Heard that on Morning Ireland, they are not going to look into past breaches. In fairness the NCA made a direct comparison with Insider Trading and Fraudulent Stock Market manipulation, and we all know how seriously they are dealt with in this great little Fyffes republic. :smiling_imp:

even if they found abuse what are they going to do? if they actually get a result maybe i’ll get onto them about the ‘sudden rise’ of nearly every banks interest rates within a two week period. that little co-incidence would be interesting to get some answers on.

Its a cop out, similar to saying “we know you lied through your teeth but its ok so be a good boy and dont be bold in future”.

The NCA are a toothless wonder if they dont use their powers to fine them in retrospect for the sins of the past as was used against assurance companies in the UK by the regulator there. Who fined for sins committed up to 10 years previously and making it extra severe if companies didnt own up and the FSA found out.

They should also be investigated by the Revenue to see what else they are telling lies about. These people need to know that fraud is fraud and punishable as such because if its not punished it then it will remain a practice to be used in the future as suits, but if the offenders are punished and severely then it will forever be removed from their armoury of tricks and lies.

There are a number of issues like this and Liam Carrol’s Section 23 abuse, the state giving away prime real estate etc. that come to light on this board that really make my blood boil. The Pin allows us collectively vent our anger but then we move on. However in a moment of introspection it occurred to me that we are the most culpable of all in this do nothing country of ours as we know what is going on but do nothing The ignorant masses are just that, ignorant and so cannot be expected to do anything.

Now I am not proposing that we take to the streets (yet) but can we maybe have a letter writing forum where those in the know can offer advice on to whom we should write and to what statutes, laws etc. we should refer so we can start countering the VI spin.

I would personally like to write to the NCA to demand that they do investigate previous breaches.

Two days to do what? Have a think about whether or not they are going to report accurate figures? It isn’t like they have to fundamentally change procedures and implement new technology.

Personally I think The Irish Times is just involved in an ass covering excercise to try and protect itself from litigation.

The National Consumer Agency is a complete JOKE . They couldn’t supervise the three card trick at the Galway Races :frowning:

It has no credibility, none at all.
It has no vision
It has no teeth
It has no will to succeed, its a talking shop

The EAs will simply say , *yeah boss right boss * and will carry on as before. The

The NCA will crow about its success in cowing the EAs. Its quite good at issuing press releases but at nothing else :frowning:

Nothing will actually happen.

Nothing WHATSOEVER will change.

Stopped Clock said

I would agree with that because if its does nothing else than lets this body know that not everyone in the country is as ignorant as they would like them to be it may spur some action out of them.

Nothing will happen.
Houses that sell for significantly less than the asking price will be advertised as having sold but no price will be given.
The occasional house that does well will have a price quoted.

At the first signs of a turn around you’ll start seeing prices all over the place.

It would be very simple to create a database of sale prices, hell there are probably already half a dozen points in the process where the price is being put into databases, it’s just not public.

Things will continue as before.
The IT gets to look good for exposing this story, but they won’t name names so they won’t piss off advertisers. Let’s not forget that the holier than thou Irish Times has gone to great lengths to conceal drops in the Asking prices.

The NCA get’s to look like it’s doing something without actually doing something.

The Agents lose one small propaganda device, but they’ll adapt their game to the new rules.

In all of this I have least respect for the Irish Times. We know that it’s in EA’s interest to fudge figures use terms like “In the Region”, it’s all part of the game, it’s EA-Speak.

The Irish Times has been playing exactly the same game but now it’s trying to portray itself as some sort of consumers champion on this issue.

It’ll take more than a hafe hearted exposition of something that we all knew already to convince me that the Irish Times deserves to be taken seriously on property.

Stop concealing the information on MyHome for a start.


What we need (and will probably get) is a regulatory authorities regulatory authority (RARA). Window dressing and general turd polishing can go a long way to sorting out this mess.

2Pack, they have a budget and limited manpower. If they chase up everything they come accross they’ll get bogged down in a few issues and will be unable to address the rest. Their policy appears to be fix everything (as much as possible) and let past crimes go so they don’t get bogged down. Personaly I think it’s the best they can do.

Let’s keep sight of the enemy here. It is the government. They have the sales prices of all properties in this country and they could give access to it. They choose not to. I rang the buggers up and they were prepared to give me individual details on properties for a fee. They would give details that could be used to rob someones identity but they refused to give an anonymous sale price for properties. This beggars belief. If we were to do a letter writing campagne then we should petition to make these prices public info. I had another thread here that explains what law we need changed.

Sounds like a good Prime Time episode.

Have you tried buying Bertie Ahearn’s identity and then selling it on to the Mahon Tribunal for a higher price? They’d be only too delighted to pay it I’m sure.


They and many other disgraceful so called Irish ‘regulators’ should be abolished. Why do we pay the wages of these parasites with their pompous sounding job titles.

They are parasites, thats all. They do nothing for anybody :frowning:

Why does it take two whole days for them to stop lying through their holes?

:open_mouth: :open_mouth: :open_mouth: :open_mouth: :open_mouth: :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: :laughing: :laughing: :laughing: :laughing: :laughing:

This shocks me, given the calibre of board members like…Celia Larkin. :wink: